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Exploring travelers' behavior in response to dynamic message signs (DMS) using a driving simulator.
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  • Abstract:
    This research studies the effectiveness of a dynamic message sign (DMS) using a driving

    simulator. Over 100 subjects from different socio-economic and age groups were recruited to

    drive the simulator under different traffic and driving conditions and various travel-related

    DMS messages. The subjects drove between a specified pair of origin and destination while

    choosing their own route in a fairly realistic 12 × 12 mi2 (20 × 20 km2) network that included

    road signs, traffic signals, three-dimensional buildings and trees, and other roadside objects.

    Their driving behavior, including changes in driving speed, route choice and diversion, and

    travel time perception in the presence of DMS were studied. In addition to the driving simulator

    experiment, a stated preference analysis was conducted through three sequential survey

    questionnaires. The questionnaire data was utilized to better understand drivers’ perceptions of

    the efficiency-related attributes. The study concluded that DMS is a safe device, since drivers

    did not reduce their speed significantly to read the DMS contents. Furthermore, quantitative

    information provided by DMS affected drivers’ route choice significantly and drivers were

    quite sensitive to travel time change. However, the diversion rate due to a second DMS with

    qualitative information was much less than what the subjects stated in the survey.

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